THEME: Foundation Engineering in a Difficult Environent
INAUGURAL LECTURER: Engr. Prof. Owuama, Chukwunonye Ozioma
SCHOOL: Department of Environmental Technology, School of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SEET)
AFFILIATION: Federal University of Technology, Owerri
Foundation is the interfacing element between the super structure and the underlying soil/rock, in a construction. That is, all engineered structures including Roads, Buildings, Dams and Bridges, resting on the earth consist of two parts the superstructure and the lower structure. Foundation Engineering is the art and science of applying engineering judgment and the principles of soil and rock mechanics to solve the interfacing problems. The problem may arise by the response of the earth materials and earth masses to change conditions of geometry and/or loads. Foundation engineering, however, require sound knowledge of Geology, Soil mechanics, Rock mechanics and Structural analysis. Foundations are for the purposes of transmitting building loads which are usually of very high stress intensity (up to 140 MN/m2) to the far lower capacity of the soil (<1MN/m2). Load transmission may be either through shallow footing where the footing (D) is less than the width (B) or through deep footing (piles, caissons) where the depth of the embedment is far greater than its width. To serve as foundation, the structure must satisfy some stability and deformation requirements, such as
- Depth must be adequate to avoid lateral expulsion of materials from beneath the foundation.
- Depth must be below seasonal volume changes or zone of active organic materials.
- Systems must be safe against overturning, rotation, sliding, vibration or soil rupture.
- Systems must be safe against corrosion or deterioration due to harmful materials such as Sulphates, Chlorides, and Acids, that are present in the soil.
- Systems should be adequate to sustain some changes in later site or construction geometry or be easily modified should later conditions warrant it.
- The foundation should be economical in terms of the method of installation.
- Total and differential earth movements should be tolerable for the foundation element and/or any superstructure element.
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